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Galveston Declares Itself A Welcoming City Due To Concern Over Some Of Trump’s Actions

Mayor Jim Yarbrough underscores the contributions of immigrants to the island and advocates for a comprehensive immigration reform.

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough addresses residents at the 2016 State of the City meeting at Galveston College in June of 2016. He is an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.
Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough addresses residents at the 2016 State of the City meeting at Galveston College in June of 2016. He is an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

Galveston has declared itself a “Welcoming City” in response to the concerns of part of its population over the actions taken by President Donald Trump.

At an event held on Monday afternoon, Mayor Jim Yarbrough declared Galveston Welcome Day and underscored the importance of immigrants in Galveston’s history, with the first European settlers coming to the island in the early 19th century.

The mayor said one reason for the rally is people are afraid of the potential loss of their civil liberties and added: “We need comprehensive immigration reform, not just a political splash to make a quick splash to somebody’s political base.”

City leaders and community activists say Galveston is a community that wants to remain free of “prejudice and bigotry,” as noted in a Proclamation redacted by the city.

The event where Mayor Yarbrough read a proclamation declaring Galveston a “Welcoming City” took place at the local Islamic Center.
The event where Mayor Yarbrough read a proclamation declaring Galveston a “Welcoming City” took place at the local Islamic Center.

Mindy Lakin, a member of Indivisible Galveston, one of the groups that participated in the event noted that declaring themselves a welcoming city is a first step.

“We have a coalition of religious leaders that will be opening their churches, mosques and synagogues to members of the community and give them, you know, both emotional and spiritual support that they need,” Lakin said.

Mark Jones, a professor of Political Science at Rice University, explains that “we’ve seen this as a wave across the United States where, after the election of President Trump, many states, as well as localities, are asserting their independence or at least their opposition to the President’s policies.”

Jones thinks Galveston could risk losing public funding if the federal and state governments deem the city is interfering with the enforcement of immigration laws.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all varieties of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

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